What Temperature is Too Hot to Mow the Lawn: Expert Advice

What Temperature is Too Hot to Mow the Lawn: Expert Advice

Mowing the lawn is a chore that most homeowners have to tackle regularly during the summer months. However, with temperatures rising, it can be difficult to know when it’s safe to mow the lawn without causing damage to the grass or putting oneself at risk of heat exhaustion. So, what temperature is too hot to mow the lawn?

The answer to this question depends on a variety of factors, including the type of grass, the humidity levels, and the individual’s tolerance for heat. Generally speaking, it is recommended that homeowners avoid mowing their lawns when temperatures exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, the grass is already under stress due to the heat, and mowing can cause additional damage.

It’s important to note that while 90 degrees Fahrenheit is a good rule of thumb, there are other factors to consider. For example, if the humidity is high, it may feel much hotter than the actual temperature, making it unsafe to mow even if the thermometer reads below 90 degrees. Additionally, different types of grass have different heat tolerances, so it’s important to research the specific type of grass in one’s lawn to determine the best mowing practices.

Understanding Lawn Temperatures

When it comes to mowing the lawn, understanding the temperature is essential. Mowing in extreme temperatures can be detrimental to the health of your lawn and even dangerous for you. Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to lawn temperatures:

  • Optimal mowing temperature: The best temperature to mow your lawn is between 60°F and 75°F. This temperature range allows for optimal grass growth and recovery.
  • High temperatures: Mowing in high temperatures can cause stress to your lawn and lead to brown spots. If the temperature is above 85°F, it’s best to wait until it cools down before mowing.
  • Heat waves: During a heat wave, it’s important to avoid mowing altogether. The extreme temperatures can cause heat stress to your lawn and put you at risk of heat exhaustion.
  • Extreme temperatures: If the temperature is above 90°F, it’s not recommended to mow your lawn. Extreme temperatures can cause significant damage to your lawn and put you in danger of heat stroke.

By understanding the optimal mowing temperature and avoiding mowing in high temperatures, heat waves, and extreme temperatures, you can keep your lawn healthy and yourself safe.

Effects of High Temperatures on Grass

During the hot summer months, grass can experience heat stress due to high temperatures. This stress can lead to a variety of negative effects on the grass, including stunted growth, discoloration, and even death.

When grass blades are exposed to high temperatures, they can become dehydrated and lose their ability to photosynthesize efficiently. This can lead to a reduction in the amount of energy the grass can produce, which can slow down growth and cause the grass to become weaker and more susceptible to disease.

In addition, high temperatures can also damage the roots of the grass, making it harder for the plant to absorb nutrients and water from the soil. This can further weaken the grass and make it more vulnerable to disease and other stressors.

Overall, it is important to be mindful of the temperature when mowing the lawn, as mowing during extreme heat can cause additional stress to the grass. It is recommended to mow in the early morning or late evening when temperatures are cooler to minimize stress on the grass.

Ideal Mowing Times

To avoid mowing the lawn during the hottest parts of the day, it is recommended to mow either early in the morning or late in the afternoon. This way, the grass will have time to recover before the sun is at its peak.

Early morning mowing is generally considered the best time of day to cut grass in hot weather. This is because the grass has had time to dry out from the morning dew, but the sun is not yet at its hottest. It is important to note that mowing wet grass can damage the lawn and create uneven cuts.

Late afternoon mowing is also a good option, as the sun is starting to go down and the temperature is beginning to cool off. However, it is important to finish mowing before it gets too dark, as mowing in low light can also create uneven cuts.

Overall, the ideal mowing times are early morning or late afternoon, when the temperature is not at its hottest and the grass has had time to recover.

Types of Grass and Heat Tolerance

Different grass types have varying levels of heat tolerance. Cool-season grasses like Kentucky bluegrass prefer cooler temperatures and may struggle to survive in extreme heat. On the other hand, warm-season grasses are better adapted to hot climates and can withstand higher temperatures.

Cool-season grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass, fescue, and ryegrass can tolerate temperatures up to 75-80°F. Beyond this temperature range, they may experience heat stress and become dormant. Warm-season grasses like Bermuda grass, zoysia grass, and St. Augustine grass can tolerate temperatures up to 90-95°F or even higher.

It’s important to note that within each grass type, there are variations in heat tolerance. For example, some types of fescue have better heat tolerance than others. Additionally, factors such as soil type, moisture, and shade can also affect a grass’s ability to withstand heat.

In general, it’s best to choose a grass type that is well-suited to the climate in your area. If you live in a hot climate, consider planting a warm-season grass that can handle the heat. If you live in a cooler climate, a cool-season grass may be a better option.

Mowing Techniques in Hot Weather

When mowing the lawn in hot weather, it’s important to take certain precautions to avoid heat exhaustion or other health issues. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Mow during the coolest part of the day: Try to mow early in the morning or late in the evening when the temperature is cooler. This will help prevent overheating and dehydration.
  • Stay hydrated: Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after mowing. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, headaches, and other health problems.
  • Wear appropriate clothing: Choose lightweight, breathable clothing that will help keep you cool. Avoid dark colors that absorb heat.
  • Take breaks: Take frequent breaks to rest and cool down. If you start feeling dizzy or lightheaded, stop mowing immediately and seek shade.
  • Adjust the mower height: During hot weather, it’s best to raise the mower height slightly to avoid cutting the grass too short. This will help the grass retain moisture and stay healthy.
  • Keep mower blades sharp: Dull blades can damage the grass and make it more susceptible to heat stress. Be sure to sharpen your mower blades regularly.
  • Consider a riding mower: If you have a large lawn, a riding mower can make mowing easier and less physically demanding. This can be especially helpful during hot weather when you may be more prone to fatigue.

By following these simple tips, you can safely and effectively mow your lawn in hot weather.

Lawn Care Tips for Hot Weather

During hot weather, it is essential to take care of your lawn properly to prevent it from drying out and becoming damaged. Here are some tips to help keep your lawn healthy during hot weather:

  • Water your lawn deeply and less frequently to encourage deep root growth and reduce evaporation. Aim for about 1 inch of water per week, including rainfall.
  • Water your lawn early in the morning or late in the evening to reduce evaporation and heat stress on the grass.
  • Keep your lawn mower blades sharp to prevent tearing the grass, which can cause damage and lead to water loss.
  • Raise your mower blades to leave the grass longer, which can help shade the soil and reduce water loss through evaporation.
  • Consider mulching your grass clippings to help retain moisture in the soil and provide nutrients for your lawn.
  • Stay hydrated while working in the heat and take breaks as needed to prevent heat exhaustion.

By following these tips, you can help keep your lawn healthy and green during hot weather.

Safety Precautions While Mowing

When mowing the lawn, it is important to take safety precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Here are some tips to stay safe while mowing the lawn during hot weather:

  • Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing and a hat to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays.
  • Apply sunscreen with a high SPF rating to protect your skin from sunburn.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during, and after mowing the lawn.
  • Take frequent breaks in the shade to cool down and rest.
  • Avoid mowing during the hottest parts of the day, typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • If you experience symptoms of heat stroke or heat exhaustion, such as dizziness, nausea, or a headache, stop mowing immediately and seek medical attention.

By following these safety precautions, you can enjoy a safe and comfortable mowing experience even during hot weather.

Dealing with Heat Waves and Droughts

During a heat wave or drought, it is important to take special care when mowing the lawn. The extreme temperatures and lack of rainfall can put stress on the grass, making it more vulnerable to damage. Here are some tips to help maintain a healthy lawn during these conditions:

  • Water the lawn deeply and less frequently to encourage deeper root growth. Shallow roots are more susceptible to heat stress and drought.
  • Mow the lawn at a higher height to provide shade for the soil and prevent moisture loss. Taller grass also promotes deeper root growth.
  • Avoid mowing during the hottest part of the day. Early morning or late afternoon is ideal.
  • Use a sharp blade to prevent tearing the grass, which can lead to moisture loss and damage.
  • Consider using a mulching mower to return nutrients to the soil and retain moisture.

By following these tips, homeowners can help their lawns survive and thrive during heat waves and droughts.


In conclusion, mowing the lawn is an essential aspect of lawn care, and it is crucial to do it at the right temperature. While there is no one temperature that is too hot to mow, it is generally recommended that one should avoid mowing when the temperature is above 90°F. Mowing at such high temperatures can be dangerous for the mower and the person operating it.

It is important to keep in mind that the temperature is not the only factor to consider when mowing the lawn. Other factors such as the humidity level, time of day, and the condition of the lawn should also be taken into account.

To ensure that the lawn is properly maintained, it is recommended that one mows the lawn regularly and at the right temperature. This will not only help to keep the lawn healthy and looking great, but it will also prevent any unnecessary damage to the mower or the person operating it.

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